The Mariners ran through a gauntlet of formidable foes, including Tampa Bay, San Francisco, and Houston, to the tune of a 7-3 record. Dominant starting pitching and some inspiring offense fueled that stretch with contributions up and down the lineup (Thanks, Mike Ford!). Now that All-Star week and the MLB Draft are over, the executive’s attention will be on the MLB trade deadline. However, there are some moves the team can make to augment a weak bench without making a trade.
The team brought A.J. Pollock in to mash lefties and platoon with 23-year-old Jared Kelenic. The results have been suboptimal, as the 11-year veteran slashes .162/.219/.535. Pollock apologists will point to the small sample size (117), but Kelenic’s massive step forward has made him redundant.
I’d call up Cade Marlowe, who could provide speed and power off the bench, and give Teoscar Hernandez more time in the designated hitter spot. The toolsy outfielder is raking (.310/.406/1.015), leading the Rainiers in homers (6) and stolen bases (10) over the past 22 games.
Dylan Moore didn’t have a full spring training, and the Mariners rushed him to the big leagues due to Kolten Wong’s early season struggles. Additionally, the Mariners haven’t done him any favors playing him one day a week. Now is the time to option the 31-year-old to Tacoma to give him regular at-bats. Who could or, in this case, should replace Moore on the major league roster?
How about Sam Haggerty, another Rainier on a tear over the past 20 games (.299/.345/.877)? The diminutive speedster would add another elite base stealer to manager Scott Servais’ bench. He would also offer positional flexibility like Moore and has a penchant for mashing lefties. Lastly, Haggerty can impact the game without having regular playing time, which is ideal for the 26th man on the roster.
The Mariners have a critical homestand with Detroit, Minnesota, and Toronto coming to town. We could see some actual trades if they can continue the momentum, they built leading up to the All-Star break. But for now, these minor moves could play big dividends this month and help turn the Mariners into buyers this deadline.